This intricately worked pietra dura (Italian for hard stone) depicts a rose and leaves in minute detail. Set with jade, and marble this pendant it dates to between 1860 and 1880, and these Etruscan Revival pieces were either by the workshop of noted Italian jewellery designer Allessandro Castellani, or based upon his designs. Alessandro was the eldest son of Fortunato Pio Castellani, founder of the Castellani firm of Roman jewellers best known for their work in the 'archaeological' style. Because he had lost his left hand in a hunting accident at the age of thirteen, he was never able to make jewellery himself but he was a visionary designer and an artistic force. He was banished from Rome in 1860 for his political activities. He then spent his years in exile in Paris and London, moving to Naples in 1862, where he started his own jewellery business Giacinto Mellito. The British Museum has a significant collection of his jewellery and antiquities, purchase in 1972.
Set on to a slate background, the rose depicts symbolic love and there is a clear back in glass in order to insert a lock of your beloved's hair, or a miniature.
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